Journaling

There is a lot going on in this world right now, as well as in my personal life. Like I detailed before, much of it I was advised not to talk about on this blog. Because of that advice, I'm keeping it all within a journal. Not hard since I already keep one for work. The sad thing is, looking at my words written down reflects how truly low and angry I feel. I'm beginning to see where hate stems from: inadequacy and broken dreams.

The Background Actress’s Guide to Costuming


(Circa: Late July 2017 on the set of "Isn't It Romantic?")

Originally I had pitched this idea to Racked.com as a contributing writer. However they declined because they had articles of a similar nature. I was going to pass on writing this for my own blog. However, the store that I purchased the above cocktail dress from is hiring, so now this essay has become relevant.

Where to start? The beauty about working a background scene is that they give you a list of examples of how you need to dress for the scene. Like:

Gucci
Zara
Tory Burch
Prada
Etc.

They will also give you visual examples of cuts and fabric, plus what tones they need you to wear. Much of this depends on the scene you are shooting too. If you are playing a lawyer, obviously you would be expected to wear a suit of some kind. Playing a hipster would require a different wardrobe and so on and so forth. If they give you specific brand names as the type of look they are going for, it would behoove you to do some research. The best place for this is Instagram, with the next being Pinterest. Look at how your favorite celebrities dress and that will help you.

The roles I typically get picked for require me to be a wealthy, socialite type. Think Hillary from The Fresh Prince of Bel Air:


(Source: IMDB.com)

When you're in my position of very little money and expected to look rich; what do you do?

This is where my friend the consignment store comes to play! The gold dress I'm wearing above is from a higher end retail chain. It's original price is closer to, if not above, $100. Yet I only paid $16 for the dress and an additional $20 for all of the jewelry. (The purse I received as a gift and the shoes were on loan from the wardrobe department, since my original pair were considered to be too shiny.)

The next thing you need to do is to bring options. Yes, I bought and used this dress specifically for this shoot. However, if the director's vision for this scene has changed in any way, it is as simple as changing into a different outfit.

A warning though: if you only brought one option this will force the wardrobe department to loan out an outfit and take your pay voucher (and maybe your driver's license too) for safe keeping until it's returned. This also means that you have to be extremely careful with the clothes (which you should anyway whether it's yours or theirs) and make sure you don't cause damage of any kind. (Or that could affect your pay or chances of being hired for other shoots in the future. One of the shoots I did, an actor walked out with a suit that was loaned to them. Needless to say that person didn't get paid and is more than likely not working for that agency ever again.)

A few other things I keep on me for the shoot as well:

A jacket or hoodie (for when it gets cold.)

A luggage lock (so no one tries to break into your bag.)

Lotion that absorbs well. (So it doesn't damage the clothes.)

A stain removal pen.

Deodorant that dries clear.

A robe or some kind of covering you can wear while eating or applying makeup.

A couple of other things I would add would be:

1) never bring real jewelry to a set. There was an unfortunate instance of an actress that brought real gold bracelets to the set and lost them, only to never find them again. Even if you get camera time, no one is going to know the difference; so keep it fake at all costs.

2) don't wear anything with a very distinct pattern or logo. Production crews do a magic trick what's called "cheating the shot." Meaning to make a scene look like it has more people than there really are hired on set. They do this in many different ways, by adding an accessory, or changing your hair or putting you in deep background. This means more camera time for you, so help them out!

I hoped you liked this essay as much as I liked writing it. I also hope I get the job at this particular consignment store since I do get a lot of my clothes from there. Fingers Crossed 🤞

IKEA


(Source: Greg Mania on Twitter.)

The new IKEA catalog came out and I received it in the mail yesterday. It's a little bittersweet especially since I'm no longer moving to Ireland. What I like about it is that it gets the wheels turning in my head. What would my future home look like and where will it be? I already know from having cleaned large mansions that I really want something small and modest. This is funny since it goes against my zodiac of Taurus, who lives for luxury and having many expensive things to brag about.

But…I was recently very poor and at one point: homeless, so having the largest and most expensively filled home is not on my priority list. I'd rather have that money in my pocket for emergencies, the occasional splurge every now and then, and the freedom of time. As much as I like to work, I don't want to work so much to maintain my home that I don't get to enjoy living in it. My first priority is to move out from where I am right now. (Probably to Philadelphia.) Next will be to furnish my home. (IKEA!) After that, lots and lots of gigs mixed with couch potato time.

It May Be a Good Thing

My relative and I reached out to officials at my school to discuss the issues of my funding to see if there was anything I can do or not. One thing I'm starting to notice is that there is more than one chain of command and I don't think everyone is communicating with each other.

I received an email today from a different official about something that I addressed last week with an official I'm working with and it was CC'ed with that person. So I replied and received an automatic response, which means they didn't read what I wrote.

This is not to bash the school, because they are doing what they can with what they have. My concern is that if I have to jump through this many hoops to convey the same message, this just may not be the school for me. It's a little upsetting since my relative works for this school and their name and my name is attached. (I feel that I'm making them look really bad.)

So now I'm looking at alternatives for training. I really had my heart set on moving to Dublin and that may still happen but with a different school. I have 2 options I can do now:

The Gaiety School of Acting, which is where Colin Farrell and Olivia Wilde attended.

The Lir National Academy of Dramatic Art in Trinity College; whose courses were developed by the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art in London, England.

Both are very fine schools. Applications and auditions for The Lir happen in October so I will have to move very quickly on this. The next thing is to pick up a regular job and store all of the cash that I can to hustle my butt over there.

Mental Health Week!

After taking two major hits within this month, I’m following up with my promise of taking a hiatus. The reason why it’s a week, and not longer, is due to the fact that I submitted myself to several projects before these traumatic experiences happened. Now they are calling me back to shoot soon (I still have to pay bills you know.) 

To help with that, I’m taking some time off of social media. In the past I would attempt to go ghost with little success. This time it’s absolutely necessary. The reason being, is that I’m connected to so many industry related sites that the news is starting to wear on me. 

  • I’m reading too much about other people’s success stories when right now I feel like a failure. 
  • I’m seeing too many projects out there that I could be a good fit for “if only” I was thinner, in the union, in Los Angeles, have a huge Instagram following, Caucasian, etc.
  • I abhor celebrity gossip, but too much of it is getting shared on my feed and those people and everything they do make me sick.

Frankly I’m turning into a Hater and that’s the last thing I ever want to be. I will continue to write and update on here, because writing for me is cathartic. 


(Source: tank.sinatra IG)

The Panel and Remaining a Theatre Actress 

My go see with the agents ran flat. Here’s why:


(This was posted from my FB page earlier today.)

As a result I’m sticking to theatre. One of the agents said she already had someone that looks like me that she is representing. While she wasn’t mean about the way she said it, I kind of got the impression that she doesn’t need a twin. So why should I bother hopping into an industry where I’m just going to be nothing but a carbon copy?

 I got the sense that was an issue when I applied to be background in Creed. It wasn’t until I found out that Tessa Thompson was one of the leads and that is why I wasn’t selected…we look too similar.

As far as the background stuff is concerned. Yeah we get paid roughly $11-12 an hour and are herded around like cattle. It’s long days and it takes a lot out of me travel wise so it’s probably better if I stop doing it. 

My training overseas has been hindered, so I have to continue here in the states instead. I was thinking of getting with the Shakespeare Theatre Company and taking some of their workshops. Along with some more burlesque training and stage combat. I’m not really going to make big money in these fields so the businesses I recently got into have to keep me alive along with a traditional job (if I can find one.) This isn’t the sound of me quitting though. All I’m doing is staying away from the film industry. People in theatre are much nicer anyhow.

Back to School

(Source: Daria and MTV)
 

I guess at this very moment, I’m technically back in school. No, not the school in Ireland…the School of Hard Knocks. An opportunity that I had abandoned five years ago has resurfaced for me to try again: investing. At the time when I was learning to invest, I had much of the information at my fingertips, but no capital to invest. This time, however, I do have a little bit of capital that I can invest; and I need to do so quickly. Time is running out to be able to pay my tuition before starting school. As I had mentioned earlier, I do have a tiny cushion. But the majority of my funding for school had to come from student aid. Now that aid has been denied to me, this is now the only way (besides becoming a stripper, and believe me, that is not off the table) for me to pull together money at a quick rate. All there is for me to do is to refresh on all of the old and new information I need to make this happen. Hopefully this works and I can happily report that I’m able to go to school.

Self Care

(Source: Pinterest)

Some good things happened to me today and they are all beauty/money related. First, I did manage to book another background gig (I guess I’m out of retirement for a while) which is shorter hours but higher pay (YAY). I also received my business kit from It Works and my FasciaBlaster and now I’m working on my body. 

(I’m working on getting back to this body. This photo was taken 5 months prior to the accident.)

The FasciaBlaster (I make no money talking about this product btw) was purchased based upon a recommendation by a friend. I told her about the continuing issues I have with my body due to the accident. She told me this could help with some of the damage as well as the extra fat pockets I gained because of it. The product by itself will not cause me to lose weight (a proper diet and exercise will do that.) However, it’s difficult to workout with intensity because of my lack of flexibility and circulation. I’m hoping the Blaster can help loosen me up a bit to make that easier and less painful.


 (Source: Pinterest)

Along with my It Works kit (which I do make money off btw if you want to hit me up); I purchased the WOW firming moisturizer to help tighten up the deep set forehead wrinkle I made by furrowing my brows all of the time. (Too much stress and pain can do that to you.)  So I can go back to looking 20; like I did before the accident.


(Source: Pinterest)

If you read my post yesterday, you are highly aware that I had a complete and total meltdown. I’m still very frustrated with the way things are going in my life right now, but stewing in anger is not going to get me anywhere. What I’m doing to remedy that is more breathing, meditation, and trusting the Universe. I’m also using the the Blasting period as a meditation to iron out all of my pain and stress. Hopefully this settles me down a bit and helps to refocus on what I need to do. Who knows? Maybe the self care is my next step. I seriously can’t go on camera looking a ragged pile of sadness. It’s all part of the Universal plan (at least I hope).

Crew pt. 2

(Source: Backstage Badger Tumblr page and Pinterest)

The musical production of You’ve Got Red On You is coming together quite nicely and I was sent a newly revised script that will be covered in notes by the end of this evening. Being a stage manager in this production is a little simpler due to that fact that I will also be acting in it. I’m working with the special effects crew and managing props as well. Lights and sound are on their own, but we are such a small theatre they wouldn’t need me to call cues anyway. 


(Source: Backstage Badger Tumblr and Pinterest)

In addition to working on this show; God must have heard my tearful plea about moving on with my life since I failed to pay for school. Three job notices for Crew work in Atlanta popped up on my social media newsfeed last night and I applied for all of them as a Makeup Artist (since that is my strongest skill and most recently used). It’s high time I updated my makeup kit (most of the stuff in the kit expired and I had to trash it). I hope one of the gigs reach me back for an interview soon. 

The Dream is Dead

The more I keep getting denied for a loan, the more I keep getting fed up with my life. My dream of attending school overseas is swiftly dwindling and now I must figure out alternatives to continue to make my career work. Student aid is denying me on all fronts, so going to college in the United States won’t make a bit of difference. Instead I will have to pay for training out of pocket and continue to work low paying gigs in order to support myself. I guess it makes no difference, I would have had to take a low paying job in Ireland anyway to stay afloat. However, I really wanted to move away from my family and Delaware; to move to a city that supports the arts. 

But all is not lost, I could go back to training where I started up in NYC at Studio 4 or stay in the Philly area and go back to Playhouse West Philadelphia. I’m still going to make a goal to move out of my family’s home. Staying in Delaware while working on an acting career has become cumbersome in traveling, opportunities, and expenses. Plus like I said the environment has become toxic (even though I love them) which is also dragging me down. 

So I put myself out there to see if there are any opportunities that could make me union eligible and provide more paying opportunities along with more opportunities to have speaking parts. I’m probably going to have to make a customized reel and seek an agent as well. I have to keep going or I will be trapped in a void forever.